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Estate Planning for Blended Families

Blended families are becoming more common as time goes on. Estate planning, specifically for blended families, is vital to ensure parents’ wishes and distribution plan are followed, children and stepchildren are provided for, and family issues are reduced or eliminated following the death of a parent.

Without estate planning documents, the statutes outline what percentage the surviving spouse will inherit from the deceased spouse, depending on whether the couple has children from previous relationships and whether the couple has children together. This may cause a strain on the surviving spouse and the financial situation as he or she may have relied on and had the expectation that the couple’s assets would be given entirely to the surviving spouse. The surviving spouse may be forced to divide the estate, resulting in less funds to raise minor children, less funds to provide for their college, and less funds for retirement.

With proper estate planning documents, a couple is able to create a plan together on how the funds will be transferred upon the death of one or both of the parties. There are many possibilities that a couple may explore in order to provide for their blended family and children without inadvertently disinheriting a child, giving one set of children more than the others, or providing for the children only after both spouses pass away.

It is highly recommended that all individuals, especially those in blended families, create their estate planning documents in order to benefit their family and children. Emotions are always high when someone passes; imagine how high those emotions will be if no estate planning documents were created and the family is left with financial uncertainty.

I welcome the opportunity to meet with you about your needs and how I can best serve you, your family, and future generations.